Food & Drink

Tiki Tech #10 – Test Pilot & Jet Pilot

Drinks that can double as combustible fuel in a pinch

Hello again! I apologize for not having a post last week due to (waves hand around at everything). I was nearly in the same situation this week but I’m instead rallying and hitting you all just after 5 o’clock on a Friday.

This week’s drink is a classic evolution of an original tiki recipe. As the Tiki craze coincided with the height of aviation & the space race, it makes sense that some drinks would nod towards this point in history. According to Beachbum Berry, it all started with Donn Beach in 1941 with his Test Pilot, which was a combination of citrus & floral flavors. Many of Beach’s competitors would replicate this recipe with small twists, changing the name to things like Ace Pilot and Astronaut. One of those competitors was Steve Crane, who introduced the Jet Pilot at his Luau restaurant in the 1950’s.

Both recipes call for falernum, which you should definitely pick up if you haven’t yet; I’ve loved what it brings to every cocktail I’ve had it in. For our Jet Pilot, we’ll bring back the cinnamon syrup recipe from our Dirty Banana post. You’ll notice one difference in the recipe I put below: recipes Test Pilot & Jet Pilot call for an anise liqueur like Pernod, Herbsaint, or absinthe. However, I hate anise and I think it’s such a niche bottle of liqueur and such a small part of the flavor profile of the drink that I won’t ask you to buy a bottle just for this.

TEST PILOT

adapted from Donn Beach’s recipe in Distiller

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce falernum
1-1/2 ounce dark rum
3/4 ounce light rum
1/2 ounce orange liqueur (curacao, triple sec, Cointreau, Grand Marnier)
1 dash Angostura bitters (2 if no anise)
1/8 teaspoon anise liqueur (Herbsaint or Pernod)

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake for approximately 10 seconds, then strain into a glass with crushed ice.

JET PILOT

adapted from The Spruce Eats

1 ounce dark rum
3/4 ounce gold rum
3/4 ounce 151 overproof rum
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup
1/2 ounce falernum
dash of Angostura bitters (double if no anise)
1/8 teaspoon anise liqueur (Herbsaint or Pernod)

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake for approximately 10 seconds, then strain into a glass with crushed ice.

NEXT WEEK:

The best drink for floating down the streets of New Orleans

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